From the Kitchen: Game Loft Pantry Challenge Updates

From our Director’s Kitchen a blog from Patricia Estabrook

Update on the Pantry Challenge March 8
First, thanks to all of you have signed up for the pantry challenge. I have made it through the first week in pretty good shape. I do find that I am very conscious of what we have and what we are eating. In the past I would go for variety and put in the back of the refrigerator the leftovers from the previous day. You know, as well as I do, what a terrible fate comes to those leftovers. They sit on the shelf unwanted until they are green and fuzzy. So this week we have eaten our leftovers and Ray has been forgiving and, at times, complimentary. 

Two things surprised me this week, but I was able to roll with the punches. The first was that we had an unexpected invitation to eat out with a friend who is recovering from a major illness. I had only one dinner out for the month on my plan so that is over. No more eating out in March. The second was that I failed to check my calendar and godson Andrew’s birthday came up with very little warning. Fortunately I had planned to roast a chicken and I had some frozen pound cake in my freezer so I was able to make the meal look festive (and planned!).

I found 15 blackened bananas in my freezer and so I began to use them up. How I got 15 bananas is beyond me. I made banana bread the conventional way with the first 5 and with coconut instead of pecans in the second batch. While coconut is O.K. in banana bread it didn’t stand out but I was able to save my precious store of pecans for one last recipe this month. 

This week I find that I’d better make some hummus and some caponata that I didn’t get to last week or lunches will be a little on the catch-as-catch can side. For supper I am making Caldo Verde with kielbasa, chicken vegetable soup using the leftovers from the birthday dinner, and a roast pork butt that will give us lots of leftovers. Since I was raised to believe that pork can’t be digested without apples (where did that one come from?) I am also serving applesauce that I canned last fall. 

Ray is doing well with his home brew challenge. He came to the realization that he actually prefers the coffee he makes at home to the brew he can get on the road. So we are all learning. 

I will deliver my first check for $100 for the combined pantry and brew challenge on Monday. Please help support this effort in any way you can. 

P.S. I feel a little like Jerry Lewis doing the Muscular Dystrophy marathon on Labor Day weekend years ago. By the end of six weeks I may be frantically begging for your leftovers so please help soon.

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